Monday, May 11, 2009 1 Response
EAGLE, Alaska -- Governor Palin landed here Monday afternoon to survey damage from spring flooding caused by ice jams on the Yukon River that pushed water and chunks of ice into town.
Nearby, Old Eagle Village was hit the hardest. Wiped out by the flood, the village remains buried under the crushing ice. The road to town, most of the homes, and the village's church and graveyard are no longer visible.
The homes that can be found are far away from their foundations -- pushed off, tipped, torn apart -- and the crushed and tilted cabins have become angular landmarks on a new landscape carved by the river's force.
The community's health clinic still stands, but is badly damaged. Residents learned Sunday night that the road, also swallowed by the ice, won't be clear any time soon. Because of hazardous materials worries and a desire to not plow through people's personal possessions, the state Department of Transportation is calling for a slow approach. To link the village with the larger and nearby town of Eagle, crews will instead build a temporary road, cutting through the trees and using specialized pads to protect the tundra.